In Dying to Know You, award-winning author Aidan Chambers has created an indelible portrait of a young man discovering his own voice in the world, and has constructed a love story that is as much about the mind as it is the heart.
In this contemporary love story, a teenage boy named Karl enlists a famous writer to help him impress his girlfriend, Fiorella. She has asked him to write her a letter in which he reveals his true self. But Karl isn’t convinced he’s good enough with words, so he tracks down Fiorella’s favorite author and begs him to take up the task. The writer reluctantly assents, on the condition that Karl agree to a series of interviews, so that the letter will be based on an authentic portrait of Karl. The letter, though effective, has unexpected consequences for Karl, Fiorella, and the writer.
Dying To Know You has a beautifully simplistic storyline that will entrance the reader from start to finish. It is expertly written and reads like a dream, Dying To Know You is one of them stories that will stick with the reader for a long time to come. Truly brilliant and unforgettable.
Karl is seventeen, he is in love with a sixteen year old girl called Fiorella. Fiorella has a passion for reading and writing so she asks introverted Karl to write down the answers to some of her questions. Thinking he might find it easier to open up about himself if he writes it down. But little does Fiorella know, Karl is dyslexic and writing is a horrific task for him.
So Karl enlists the help of a writer that he heard of from Fiorella, who is a fan of his works. Karl and the writer hit it off immediately and they are quite an odd pair, but the elderly writer sees similarities in Karl from himself in his youth. Turns out Karl is as big a help to the writer as the writer is to Karl.
Everything bumps along nicely until Fiorella finds out that Karl didn’t actually write the answers to her questions himself. Things start to go down hill for everyone from here on in and Karl sinks into depression.
I don’t want to give too much away, but Karl and the writer have a beautiful relationship that is delightful to read about. They are both socially awkward and like to keep to themselves. Karl gets so much out of his relationship with the writer and Vice Vera.
The ending of the book is unexpected and I’m not really sure how I feel about it, but I suppose a simplistic ending for a simplistic storyline fits the book. One thing that really bugged the life out of me was the writer, not him but the fact that we don’t find out his name. There is so much more I would still of liked to know about Karl and the writer but I guess the beauty of it is leaving it up to the imagination.
Overall a fantastic novel that needs to go on everybody’s MUST read list. Add it to you Goodreads shelf today.
Some of my favourite quotes:
“It’s a self-generated, self-inflicted addiction, the cure of which only you can provide. The cure is called hope.”
“However, there is one benefit of old age that I should mention, one cause for permanent celebration, one distinct advantage. You aren’t a teenager anymore, and never will be so tediously afflicted again.”
“I’m not good at instant reactions to anything. I need time to take in what I’ve experienced before I can say anything intelligent.”
“Perhaps because such an admission reveals your deepest and most vulnerable self. The self we all fear someone will injure or hurt or destroy.”
*Special thanks to Random House for the review copy*